Dave DeBusschere

In his first summers as a White Sox minor league pitcher, DeBusschere was impressive, posting a 10-1 record with Savannah (Sally League) in 1962. In the winters, the 6’6″ Detroit native won fame as a dominating forward for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. The White Sox, who had given him a $75,000 signing bonus, were encouraged when he threw a ML shutout in 1963, but the Pistons upped the ante by naming him player-coach, at age 24 the youngest coach in NBA history. DeBusschere gave up baseball, going on to a Hall of Fame basketball career (1963-72). Disciplined, unselfish, and dedicated to defense, he was considered the ultimate team player, and was a catalyst on two New York Knicks World Championship teams. He wore number 22 during his entire pro career. He served one year as GM of the American Basketball Association Nets before becoming the ABA’s commissioner. He later returned to the Knicks for a term as their GM. He was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1982.